- William Hale (British inventor)
William Hale (1797-1870)cite web |url=http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/dsh/artifacts/RM-Hale24pdr.htm |title=Smithsonian article on Hale rockets] , was a British
Hale was born in
Colchester, Englandin 1797. He was self-taught although his grandfather, the educator William Cole, is believed to have tutored himcite web |url=http://www.nmspacemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.php?id=150 |title=International Space Hall of Fame biography of Hale] . By 1827 he had obtained his first patent; he also won a first class Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Artsin Parisfor his paper on ship propulsion using an early form of jet propulsion .
In 1844, Hale patented a new form of rotary rocket that improved on the earlier
Congreve rocketdesign. Hale removed the guidestick from the design, instead vectoring part of the thrust through canted exhaust holes to provide rotation of the rocket, which improved its stability in flight.
These rockets could weigh up to 60 pounds and were noted for their noise and glare on ignition.
Hale rockets were first used by the United States Armyin the Mexican–American Warof 1846-1848. Although the British Armyexperimented with Hale rockets during the Crimean Warthey did not officially adopt them until 1867.
Frank H. Winter"The First Golden Age of Rocketry: Congreve and Hale Rockets of the Nineteenth Century" (Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990), 321p. illus. ISBN 0-87474-987-5
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.